YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California (AP) – The body of a longtime university professor was found in Northern California last week in Yosemite National Park, and park officials are asking anyone who can see him in the park to call investigators.
James Youngblom, 64, was hiking alone. His body was found on June 25.The National Park Service said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement did not disclose details about how Youngblom died. Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Deputy Nico Sandelin, said an autopsy is not yet complete. Park spokesman Scott Gediman did not provide any further information, citing an ongoing investigation.
Anyone who can see Youngblom in the White Wolf, Pate Valley or Grand Canyon area of Tuolumne between June 22 and June 25 should contact the National Investigation Service’s Parks Service, the statement said.
Youngblom taught biological sciences at Stanislaus State University of California for 31 years. David Evans, the university’s dean of the college of science said he was an avid outdoorsman and experienced backpacker who took at least one solo backpacking trip each year.
Youngblom was chair of the Department of Biological Services. His expertise was on genetics and DNA technology, but his focus was on students, Evans said.
“He was passionate about finding young and college students interested in science,” Evans said.
Youngblom, who was set to retire in the fall, for years ran a middle school program called “Dinner with a Scientist” that brought hundreds of young students to the university in Turlock, California. His wife, Janey, was also a genetics teacher at Stanislaus State until his retirement, Evans said.
“Our thoughts are with Janey, family, loved ones, friends, colleagues and students during this sad time,” Evans said in a message to the campus community.